Friday, April 27, 2012

The Yarnarian (remember her?) gets prolix.

Remember the Yarnarian?  She who dyed yarn and knitted obsessively?  Remember her?  Nah, I didn't think you did.  Well, she's still dyeing and knitting, but now seems to be working on secret knitting projects.  It would be so nice to show you pics of socks and shawls, but I can't do that.  Everything is a mystery.  (Sometimes I think the projects are mysteries to me. )  I've become the invisible knitter!

On the dyeing front, I'm slowly scaling back from all the activity.  I'm still interested in it, but less so.  Everything changes and moves on.  I still have lots of stock, so will continue dyeing, and when I'm finished with my stock, then we'll see where I go from there.  Mostly I'm interested in OOAK yarns, yarns that I can dye without writing down formulas (formulae?).  Just playing is what I'm saying.  I also have tons of lace yarn, and will gradually use that up, too.

What really calls me these days is designing lace shawls.  I can't get enough of them.  I love finding a pattern in one of my stitch books, and then totally changing it to something else.  I love working on transitions from one pattern to the next.  I adore Never-ending Borders (NEB).  I love charts!  Love making them and following them.  Always have, too.  There's something about a grid that calls to me.

So what's in my brain besides lace?  Sewing.  I am not very good at it, but I plod ahead, try not to be a perfectionist and just enjoy the process.  I'm wild about making project bags, and keep giving them away to admirers.  I'm even thinking of selling a few in my Etsy shop, just for a change.  Here are the latest 2 bags, made yesterday. This is a bigger project bag, perfect for shawls as they get bigger and even for sweaters.

This is a sock project bag with a change in proportions to highlight the lining.  I wanted more of it to show, so I put the tie band a little lower on the bag.  Makes for a smaller bag, but it's so cute and pretty that I don't care.  Besides it comfortably holds a ball of yarn, the needles and the socks.

The other thing I did with with these 2 bags was change the proportions of the top band to the main exterior.  I wanted a bit more of it to show.  I'm not completely happy with it yet.  Have to find the perfect spot to sew in the tie band.  The bigger bag needs more fruffle showing from the lining, and the little bag needs a tad less.  But I still love them.

I think I've made at least 10 project bags since I started this lunacy.  And here's the best part, I showed our MA daughter, who is a brand new sewer, how to make them.  We bought her the pattern and I think I've created a mad bag maker.  She can't get enough of them either.  Such fun! 

That's enough babble for today.  Gotta go work on something mysterious and secret!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bag Lady

 I've become a bag lady.  Can't get enough of them.  I donated a couple of bags to family members last weekend and found myself bagless.  Well, not exactly.  I have a gazillion project bags, but I was down to only 2 of the ones I've been making.  So, what's a girl to do?  Make a couple more, natch.

 The first one is from some fabric by Riley Blake, and it's a sock project size.

The next two are bigger project size.  I fussy cut the pink one to center that pretty print.  It is centered, but my photograph isn't. 

I might be bagged-out, at least for a week or two.

The Light and Dark Lace Club sign-ups are now closed.  I did list a few yarns on Etsy.  You can see them over on the right.

Passover news:  There are matzoh crumbs everywhere.  Too bad I don't have white floors. 

Off to block the most humongous shawl I've ever knitted.  It's enormous.  I'm small so it quite overwhelms me, but for my taller and larger customes (which probably is everybody), it'll really swoop and look quite elegant.  No pics.  Mystery KAL, you know.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Doll quilt

Finished!  One adorable little doll quilt.  I love this little thing.  I really do.  It was easy to sew, fun to hand quilt, and I suffered mightily with joining the binding.  I did it, but I could have done better.  And that's why little quilts are neat:  you get to try out lots of stuff without a huge investment of either money or time. 

 I used charm squares for the blocks.  Some fabric or other for the back and binding.  One of the corners looks a bit off, but it's not; it's just my photography.  Thermore batting.  I like how I can make small stitches with this batting, but I like the feel of cotton batting more.  No shrinkage on the batting; it's polyester, but the fabric shrank a bit all on its own, so now it looks nice and crinkly.

Here's the book:  40 Fabulous Quick-Cut Quilts by Evelyn Sloppy.  I borrowed it first from the library and fell in love with almost all the quilts.  The pattern I used is this:

  And it's really really easy.  Looks like lots of blocks on point and biased, but it's not.  I like it so much that I want to do it in a lap quilt and have collected a lot of fabric to use for it.

And now, like it or not, I have to clean house.  Tomorrow is the first seder; and they're all coming.  So, mop, dust cloth, and cleaning supplies, here I come.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

In between cleaning.....

I'm working on the mystery KAL Transitions Shawl, so-called because there are 4 patterns in the body of the shawl and each one transitions into the next one, and then, of course, the Never-ending Border.  Really never-ending, too.  Trust me on that one.  Interested?  You can register for the Light & Dark Lace Club, April edition right in my Etsy shop!

And a bit of sewing:

My first mug rug, slightly wonky 'cause I can't sew a straight line.  I did this as a quilt as you go project.  Tons of fun, too.  And, nope, it's not at an angle; that's the photography.  The strips, however, are somewhat angled.  I love this little guy.  I walk around the house yelling "mug rug" to Hiz Hubz.  He rolls his eyes.

Almost finished is this little doll quilt.  I'm stitching down the binding.  Yep, the blue lines will go away when I finish and run some cold water on the piece.  I hand quilted this, not very well, but good enough.  For the batting, I used Thermore, which is this thin piece of polyester, and the needle just slides through it.  I like the feel of cotton batting more, but I do better work (sort of) on the Thermore.  The pattern is from a book by Evelyn Sloppy.  It kind of looks like sail boats to me.  I really enjoyed doing this one, and I may make it again, in a lap size with red, white, and blue fabrics.  Sometime.

And now I have to get back to work.  I'd rather be knitting, sewing, reading, anything but cleaning.

Oh, and does anyone want a nasty left knee?  The fool thing, which hasn't bothered me in weeks, has now decided to hurt like hell.  Advil, here I come.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Passover Poem (with thanks to Clement Clarke Moore) by Ruth Greenwald

‘Twas a few days before Passover

‘Twas a few days before Passover,
And all through the house,
A certain woman was cleaning, and so was her spouse.

The mess they had made
The whole year before
Had to be sorted, tidied, tossed-out, and stored.

The kids were coming, the friends were, too,
And the couple was terrified,
Over how much to do.

So they both knuckled down
Under all of the stress,
And started to work on their own messy mess.

“Do we really need this,
Do we really need that?
Oh dear, it’s a good thing we don’t have a cat.”

And this, my dear friends,
Is what we must do,
In order not to annoy all the kids and the crew.

Ruth Greenwald

And that is the story of my life for the next few days!


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